Wednesday, October 31, 2007

2 Year Old Non-Conformist

I forgot to give a shout out to Nazar Kalaji for the sweet pumpkin carving! Props Nazar!

A few posts ago I lead you all to believe Gunnar's costume fell under the "cute" category. That is true, when it is on the child.

This Halloween I had idyllic visions of carmeled apples, spiced cidar, the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin special, and a sweet boy parading our new neighborhood as a cute dragon saying, "Twik Tweet" and "Tanks" after getting his boxed tooth decay. (Jaren and I were going to go as Shrek and Princess Fiona. This year I only thought thematically; My thoughts didn't translate to action.)

Unfortunately, our little dragon was not in his A Game tonight (he for sure has come down with something). He wanted nothing to do with his costume.

Gunnar did, however, buy into the trick or treating part. He wore his jeans and orange Halloween t-shirt with a mummy on it that says, "Mummy's Boy". At one door the lady who answered said, "Oh..." long pause, "a mummy's boy." Gunnar astutely told her, "No. Nunnie a dwagoan!" Well, you certainly fooled her Gun. ;)


(Notice Bobby, ever loyal and steadfast in these pictures.)

This shot is slightly reminiscent of the Pumpkin Patch his first year of Halloween Festivities. (Scroll down to The Patch entry to see that picture.) Hey, if Gunnie wasn't going to wear it someone should get our monies worth.
Luckily I got these pictures at the ward trunk or treat. He didn't want to wear it there either,but once he saw the other kids he jumped in. I wonder why that didn't happen tonight?
The backside of the costume. It really was a cute ensemble.

One of his favorite animals is an alligator. This was the closet thing we could find.

Not only does this dragon breathe fire, he also picks his nose. Now, that is cute.

Hope your Halloween was full of costume clad kiddos! Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Cowboy Fell From His Horse: A Halloween Tale

Once upon a time there was a little cowboy named Gunnar. One morning he awoke bright and early (much earlier than usual) to begin his normal little cowboy activities: rounding up the cars, feeding his face, and chasing his mom. Unfortunately, this day was going to be very different...Since I had Gunnar I have experienced the weirdest sense of guilt. If I don't play with him for x amont of time, Guilt strikes. If the tv is on for too long, Guilt slaps me in the face. If we don't read for at least an hour each day, Guilt punches me in the stomach. If he eats French fries for two meals, Guilt makes me feel fat (because I eat some too.) It's funny, but I am the only one that feels Guilt's pummeling. Jaren, for some reason, is exempt. Last year however, on Halloween morning, Jaren got a full dose from Guilt's bottle. (It isn't your fault, J. It could have happened to anybody.) Jaren is a great dad, the best. Gunnar is lucky to have him, and so am I. He is such an outstanding father that he used to get up with Gunnar in the middle of the night when he used to eat like every ten minutes. He still is the one to get up and get him in the middle of the night if he wakes from a nightmare or just needs some extra comfort. (Seriously, the very thought of Jaren getting up with Gunnar in the middle of the night makes me fall even more in love with him. Thanks J.) Halloween morning last year Gunnar was up early, too early. Jaren got him out of bed and was headed down the stairs with Gunnie wrapped around his waist. He lost his footing and accidentally fell backwards landing on Gunnar's leg. Long story short, our 18 month old broke his leg right under the knee. Jaren immediately thought it was broken; I didn't want to believe our little boy had broken anything so I told him to give Gunnar a shot of Tylenol and to go back to bed. Later our little cowboy, who was being as brave as he could, just couldn't surmount the pain from being "thrown from his horse". We took him to the doctor and sure enough he had, "a common break". We had expected questions from social services: What kind of relationship do you/does your spouse have with your child? What are your beliefs on spanking and contact punishment? Do you feed your son pizza and chips for breakfast?(We would have failed on that one.;))

This is what the cast looked like clean. It got pretty gnarly by the end.

At first he did a lot of army crawling. He learned how to walk and maneuver his cast quickly.

What a mean mom! I made him get dressed up anyway. Poor wounded cowboy.
Even though he was gimping around he still managed to wrangle up two Indians. (My mom made these costumes. Not too shabby, Mom!!)

We were relieved to go home with a wounded, gimpy cowboy and a cool glow-in the dark cast. What a sweet treat for Halloween!! Yeah, it wasn't so sweet bathing that boy in the sink for two months. Unfortunately, the rest of his Halloween wasn't as noteworthy as the morning. We tried to take him out trick or treating but the cowboy just couldn't handle rounding up his candy with only one boot. Let's hope nothing happens this year. I better get up with Gunnar if he wakes up early tomorrow morning. ;) (The irony? Tonight he is running a fever and pulling at his right ear. Looks like we will be at the doctor tomorrow!)
Our little cowboy was on his horse the next day.

His shirt says, "I do all my own stunts." They aren't always good stunts or successful stunts, but he does do them himself.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween:A Review on Cuteness

Like most parents, Jaren and I were ultra excited about all of Gunnar's "firsts". His first smile, laugh, step, and Halloween costume. ;) With much care and concern I raked the stories in the mall to find the perfect costume for our little trick or treater. I had spoken with mothers who started their costume shopping early, as soon as September when the get-ups started appearing. At first I thought this was crazy talk. Seriously, why would anyone need to buy a costume that early? Come on. There are better things to do than to obssess over a child's costume. Much to my surprise, they were right. The thing is, if the costume isn't bought early then you run the chance of not having the size you need in the cute costume, and your child has to go as something really stupid like a human pickle, a pea-in-a-pod, or a non-distinctive pumpkin. Mothers these days are buying costumes in multiples sizes(because your kid might have a growth spurt in a month's time and the smaller costume might look ridiculous two inches- too short. I mean seriously, can you imagine the legs of a monkey costume coming up to the knees on a child?? The feet would be coming out of your son's/daughter's knees. That is just not cute. And let's be honest, that is what this holiday is about: dressing up and being cute. Oh, and rotting your teeth. And it's about one more thing; Halloween is about watching the Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin Halloween special on tv. It's compulsory, required. It's just something you have to do, no matter how old you are. Jaren and I watched it last year with Gunnar. We both agreed after that it really isn't that great of a show, but it reminded us of our childhood and that's what makes it cool. I am sure we will watch again this year.)Back on topic...Mothers these days(myself included) are buying costumes in multiple sizes and styles, taking them home, allowing their children to select the favorite, and then returning the rejects with the exception of the larger size- just in case. This is why a costume must be purchased early: So you don't get a crapped-out, too-small costume, that is not cute! I took this advice to heart while searching for Gunnar's first Halloween ensemble.

I am a thematic person. When I plan a party everything centers on the theme. When I teach a lesson, everything goes back to the theme. When we dress up at Halloween...there is a theme.

Gunnar's first year we went with a beach theme. Jaren and I were surfers and Gunnar was a shark. I loved this costume, because it was so stinkin' cute.(Key to Halloween: the cute factor.) The day of Halloween I took my little shark somewhere special to get some pictures of him in full garb. Remember, I think thematically. Where else would I take a baby shark who lives in California?

This little sharkie would have killed Jaws with his cuteness.

It was all fun and cute until he started eating the sand.

The best part of this cute costume? It matched those perfect eyes.

Last year's costume was really cute, beacause of all the accessories. Here's a hint. Jaren, Gunnar's grandparents, and I were Indians, and what does every Indian need? A cowboy. Yes-sir-ree, last year we had a super, ultra, cute, cowboy rounding-up a bunch of Indians.

He had it all: the spurs, the boots, the badge, even the handcuffs.

Good thing I put him in a pair of jean, right? Even though his naked bum is pretty cute! Check out those cuffs!

The cute cowboy and the captured Indian chief.

Now that is cute. A Malboro boy and his pipe. (It was actually just a tootsie pop. ;))

What will my son be this year? You will have to wait and see. One thing's for sure; it's cute. Now if I could only get him to keep it on...

Friday, October 26, 2007

"Bye, Bye Granny"

I love small towns. There is something so peacefully quiet and quaintly close about them. I like how there is one grocery store that everyone frequents, how shoppers meet in the produce aisle and catch up on the town's latest. I love how the pharmacist fills the weekly prescriptions without being asked, and how they are ready for Hal or Flo when he or she comes to fetch the "meds". I love Main Street and its old architecture and shops. I love how the knobby, grown trees line and shade the streets; sometimes I wish they could talk and tell me the stories of the city. I love how interested the people are in visitors. I love the pace in a small town, slow, refreshing, like it should be. I love how all the teenagers meet at the "Dairy Freeze", how it is the the local hang-out and pick-up joint. I love seeing a weathered farmer rolling down a dirt road in his worn pick-up at the end of the day, and I love imagining him returning to an aged home, the arms of a kind woman, and a warm room filled with the fragrance of home-made bread. I wonder if I would still love them if I had been raised in one. I do know I love visiting small towns so much because those are my roots. I was born in Cedar City, Utah, a small town, and last week I returned to my birthplace to say goodbye to my sweet Gran.

I decided I would drive to Cedar for the funeral services. Jaren was unable to come with us because of work so Gunnar and I got ready for our first road trip, alone. I did everything I could think of to make the journey easy for him: new snacks, different toys and books, I even borrowed a dvd player and some new movies. The total drive time is six hours. I thought he would watch three movies and we would be there in a snap. He was with me when I was packing the car and while Jaren was helping us figure out how to use the dvd player. He saw that there was a tv in the car and he got so excited about it. I started feeling better about our trek after I saw his reaction. The next morning I could barely get him dressed; he wanted to go to the car to watch tv. I was feeling even more enthused about our drive after that. He was too excited to eat before we left which was fine for me; I figured he would be interested in food and that would take his mind off of being in the car. We loaded up and took off on our adventure. Let's just say Gunnar has no future for amusement park roller coasters, the teacups at Disneyland, or a career in space as an astronaut. 30 minutes into the ride he totally got car sick and lost his, ummm, juice, since that was all he had consumed. (I guess I should be happy about that part. The mess was just sticky to clean up, and there wasn't a terrible "throw-up" smell for the rest of the trip. You all know what I am talking about.;)) I had to pull over on the freeway to help him. He was wet all over. Poor thing. I did the best I could and promised to get him into fresh clothes as soon as we could get off the road in a safe place. We started on our journey again and then he had another "episode" about 45 minutes later. He comes by it honest, that's for sure. Jaren and I can't be on anything that spins, shakes, vibrates, or basically moves without being sick. In fact the swings at parks make me feel nauseated. I know. Sad.

He needed to be changed and get all of the "icky juice" cleaned off so I pulled over as soon as I could to take care of my boy. He fell asleep right after, and didn't want to watch anymore tv for the duration of the ride. If anyone needs some new verses to "The Wheels on the Bus" let me know. I had two hours of time to come up with new renditions. Oh, I forgot to mention that once again Bobby was an ever constant companion for Gunnar. Know how you have friends or maybe even spouses that will hold your hair back or rub your back while you are tossing your cookies? Bobby, lovingly, caught all of Gunnie's, "icky juice." Good Bobby. We found a laundromat as soon as we got to Cedar. We couldn't go to Gran's funeral without a clean Bobby.

We stopped in Primm, Nevada to have a bite and get all cleaned-up. Gunnie was all smiles once he got out of the car.

We shopped around for a bit to see if there was anything we "had" to have. Gunnar wanted this hat, but I told him it just wasn't practical with his current wardrobe.
The rest of the ride was non-eventful, with the exception of writing new rounds to "The Wheels..." song.

Main Street. My dad and I took a stroll down the main drag. It was nice to visit with him, reconnect, and breathe the clean country air. My grandma lived in a really, really, small town called Summit right outside of Cedar. Going to Cedar from Summit was, "going to town" for her. ;)
I saw these trees while I was driving around with Gunnar (he fell asleep in the car. I didn't want to try and transfer him, so I decided to take a drive around the old town.) I went back later with my Dad to get these shots. I LOVE THE FALL IN UTAH! That is something I really miss in California: seasons. I love the color on the leaves and was enchanted by these trees.
I love this picture; the leaves are gorgeous!!

We used to visit Gran during the summer, it was a tradition for a while, to go to the Shakespearean Festival; Cedar City is famous for its theater festival each summer. It was something I really looked forward to doing. I loved being with my family and spending some time with Gran. (Not to mention the home-made bread and apricot preserves we had for breakfast at Gran's each morning.)Local Color on Main Street.

My sweet dad with Local Color.

I had such a great daddy daughter date that day; I wish we had had more time. It reminded me of being a little girl.

I took these pictures inside Bullock Drug on Main Street. The building itself is historic and has a cool story to it. Unfortunately, I don't remember the story, but I do remember going there often with Gran for a cherry Coke.

This soda shop has everything you can think of in terms of drinks and sweets, and it is decorated perfectly to the period, complete with a working jutbox!! I loved the soda shop when I was young; I still do. My dad and I stopped in this time to snap these shots and to have a cherry Coke in Gran's honor.

Gunnar was in true form at the funeral. I was feeling a little awkward to have him be a part of the viewing. In fact I didn't want him to be in the room at all. He showed no fear though and followed his cousins right in to the room where Gran was "sleeping". The funeral director asked all the family members to come and say goodbye. Once again I hesitated, but took Gunnar up to my mom who was standing close by. I asked him to say goodbye to Gran. Without even hesitating he said, "Bye, Bye, Granny." Then he blew her a kiss. It was sweet and made everyone around smile and chuckle. Right after he said, "Granny sleeping." Then he quite bossily told everyone else to be quiet so as not to wake her. "SHHHHHHHHHHHHH! GRANNY SLEEPING!" ;)

They closed her casket and we walked behind it to the chapel for her services. (Funerals are interesting. I think I want everyone to dance at mine. Oh, and wear really, really bright colors! And eat at Cafe Rio afterwards.) While we were walking in Gunnar kept saying, "Bye, Bye Granny." It was really quiet and this made everyone smile because it was so tender and sweet. (Gran loved children too, so it was perfect for her.) Then he started to become frustrated, like we were taking too long walking, and in a gruff and stern voice he said, "Go away Granny, go away!" I was mortified. Everyone else laughed.

These two pictures were taken at the gravesite. My grandfather used to work in a coal mine. Someone brought this truck and left it on his headstone. Of course my little boy went straight to it and started digging the unearthed dirt. I love this picture of my mom's and Gunnar's hands. He was so excited to show her this truck.

He had no problem putting it back where he found it when he was asked. I love those "good listening" moments.

My mom was so peaceful through the entire process. I kept asking her if she was ok, anticipating that at any moment she would be overwhelmed with sadness. I was so impressed with her composure and strength. No one loves you like your mother.

The original team: my sister, Kori, Mom, Dad, and me.

This is my niece Bethany. She is 5. I love taking pictures of her because she is so stinkin' photogenic and because she holds still long enough to get a good shot almost every time.

Another one of my favorite funeral moments came from her. She went with my sister to say goodbye to Gran. Kori is super good at explaining things to her girls so they were prepared. Afterwards Bethie came up to me and said, "Kam, I just saw Gran, dead." She was totally unphased. It was hysterical. I am glad there was so much laughter at the funeral; Gran would have wanted it that way.

Yes, he is topless. After the services we went to Gran's church in Summit for a luncheon. For some reason my son wanted to eat with his clothes off. I was trying to hold firm, but his Aunt Kori said it would be ok for him to take his shirt off, that it wasn't a big deal. So I surrendered. He proceeded to want his pants off too. What kind of event was he trying to turn this into? Seriously Gunnar, show some respect and modesty. I think by the time I got him out to the car the only thing left on him was his pants. What a kid.

Her flowers were all so beautiful.

When she was younger she looked like Judy Garland. I loved looking at black and whites of her from her youth.

"Bye Bye, Granny." We love you.

p.s. The trip home was awesome. I got wise and bought some baby dramamine. Gunnar slept for the first 2.5 hours, and then watched tv the rest of the ride. We didn't even stop once.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Now we can watch even more tv...comfortably!!

Drum Roll Please!!! Yesterday at 12:35pm our 12ft x 12ft, feather-down sectional, arrived! You might wonder why this is the topic of today's blog. As many of you know we recently moved from a 1300 sq ft home to a 4000 sq ft place. The 1300 sq ft was a lot easier to furnish. We were done decorating within a year. This one is taking a little bit longer. (Go figure.) After shopping, searching, toiling, and convincing Jaren, we finally broke down and bought, quite frankly, one of the most beautiful sofas I have ever laid eyes on!! ;)I have been waiting several months for this sectional, almost 7. Finally, we have a place to sit while partaking our shows and our tv dinners. ;) The carpet inset we have is lovely, but not the most comfortable, and the blue beach chairs never were the look I was going for in this room. To say the least I am so pleased to finally have a place to sit and relax. Let the decorating begin. I have been waiting to do anything major in terms of decorations in this room because I wanted to get the largest piece first. Hold on to your pocket book J...Kamee's going shopping!!

It is hard to see how big it is, but I though this shot would give some perspective. Kind of. Maybe not. Ok. Take my word for it; it's big!!
A place to sit, to sleep, to watch toons.

It is that comfortable. Seriously!!
Next time you are in the neighborhood,come on over and have a sit! You might never get up.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

We are 4. Everyone, meet Bobby.

In Spanish when asking the question, "How many are in your family?", the verb ser is used to answer the question. It means, to be. Somos cuatro. Translated: We are four. I have been trying to decide why I like this better than the way we say it in English, "There are four in my family." Somos, just feels more inclusive, complete, like no one is being left out. Using the verb "to be" is so much more powerful; I think the Latins have a greater understanding of family. They say, "In total we are 10. That includes crazy Aunt Maria who's hair is a wacky shade of violet, and Uncle Julio who passionately collects dander, pollen, and dust." They never exclude anyone for being ratty, mangy, weird, stinky, or unusual, and in our family, neither do we. In the Nuzman family, somos cuatro. We are 4. (This is not, by the way, a pregnancy announcement.)
Allow me to introduce you to the fourth member of our family, Bobby. He was a gift from Gunnar's Aunt Kori when he was born; however, it has been within the last year and a half that Bobby has really become one of us. Bobby wakes when Gunnar awakes and he slumbers when Gunnar sleeps. He is a part of breakfast, tv time, painting, and he also participates when we play with play dough. He goes to pre-school, park days, and all the parties to which we are invited.
Bobby paints with Gunnar; he doesn't stay in the lines either.

Bobby loves his toonies and snacks as much as his buddy, Gunnar.

Bobby not only is a good friend and family member, he is also a protector from the noise and light that could interrupt a good sleep. (Notice the ratty edge.)

Bobby keeps Gunnar company at all times, even when sitting on the curb in the street.

Bobby attends church like the rest of us, and all other church affiliated activities. (He escorted Gunnar to the Trunk or Treat last night.) When Gunnar rides his bike, Bobby is shoved tenderly into the basket. When Gunnar plays in the backyard, Bobby is draped over his shoulder. (With one corner always dragging on the ground.) When we are outside drawing with sidewalk chalk, Gunnar lovingly prods Bobby into joining us, "Chalk, Bobby, Chalk." Bobby joins us for all of our family outings: dinners, ball games, reunions, shopping days, the zoo, the OC fair, he even comes with us to Disneyland; he is quite the traveler, and the great thing about him: he never talks back, pops off, or gives me any grief.
Yes, we are 4. While packing the bag for my boy I must also remember to round up Bobby. I have to keep my eye on him while we are out as well, because unfortunately we don't have a spare, and naps and bedtime are impossible without him. (Believe me, I have substituted replacements, look-a-like blankets, that would pass a once over by a NASA scientist, but Gunnar can sense an imposter immediately.) Bobby is losing some of his strands; we have to cut off a new string each day, sometimes two. He does have a few stains that the washer refuses to remove, and sometimes he does have a slight odor, but he's Bobby; he's one of us, and we love him, and in a true family no one is excluded for being short a few strands. ;)

I can't tell who has the bigger smile, Gunnar or Bobby. (This was in his early days; now he is a slight off-blue color.)

Bobby enjoys playing on the grass, or being used as a shawl. He's just happy to be utilized. (He really does serve several purposes.)
Bobby was even there when we welcomed Geen Bug to our family as well. (Who, by the way, has passed away. R.I.P. Geen Bug.) Scroll down the page to see another priceless pic of Bobby with Green Bug, and one of him slung over his shoulder while parading on his dad's shoulders.

Until there are no strands left to love, Bobby will be one of us. We are 4.